Protecting your dog from harm should be your primary concern as a pet owner. Given the increased risk these days that your urban yard may be invaded by coyotes or burglars who’ll most likely attempt to harm your pet, installing fences to keep your dog safe is certainly in your best interests. Otherwise, you may simply own a mischievous dog who loves nothing more than running away for an adventure!
Whatever your reason for needing to dog proof your fence, we’ve listened to pet owners concerns and have compiled a selection of five different ways to keep dogs in and unwanted visitors out. Can’t wait to learn more? Keep on reading to discover the best ways to dog proof a fence.
Purchase a Fence High Enough to Stop Dogs From Jumping Over
Dogs can jump surprisingly high for their stature. In fact, as reported by Guinness World Records, the highest jump ever by a dog was an impressive (or terrifying) 191.7 centimeters – that’s 6.2 feet! Although Feather – the dog who achieved this feat – was indeed a greyhound, smaller dogs who are less agile are also able to jump pretty damn high. And with the aid of a fence, dogs’ jumping abilities become even more impressive. Therefore, investing in a puppy proof fence that’s six-foot high at least will keep your dogs from using your garden fence as a means to their freedom.
Check Along the Fence for Any Potential Puppy Escape Routes
Does your dog fancy themselves to be an escape artist? If so, your mischievous pup will consider a patch of dirt near a wire fence to be just another challenge. Either once you’ve installed your new fence or are looking to see whether your old fence will do, we recommend walking around its perimeter to see whether any dirt patches may be your dog’s future digging spot. If you come across any holes in your fence on your walk around the yard, fill them in accordingly.
One handy way of ensuring your fence secure for keeping dogs in and wild animals out is by pretending to think like a dog. Where would you try to outsmart the garden fence design and how would you do so? Only once you’ve figured out your fence’s weaknesses can you ensure it’s fit for purpose.
Invest in An Electric Dog Fence
Put simply, an electric fence can be best described as an underground containment system for dogs that uses an underground wire around your yard as a dog proofing fence. Although many owners may be horrified about the prospect of their dog inadvertently stumbling into the electric dog fence lining their back yard and becoming hurt, electric fences made by reputable brands are designed to be safe.
As nobody wants their dogs to get hurt, it’s important to train them to play within the boundaries of their invisible fence. Otherwise, your dog may become resentful and upset by this boundary separating them from their fence and lash out. We’ve highlighted some of the best ways to train your dog to become accustomed to their new electric dog fence below:
- Mark the boundaries of the fence with concrete objects:
Training flags are available online so an outline can be created of the fence. Your dog should then be walked around the leash, following the border. To best succeed with training at this point, the system should be turned off so your pet won’t accidentally shock themselves; a move that would surely be detrimental for training progress.
- Turn on the fence and walk around areas that sound a warning tone:
The best fences emit warning sounds whenever a dog goes too close to the boundary. Keep walking your dog around their fence, all the while ensuring that they’re hearing the warning sounds that instruct them not to get too close to the fence. This process should be carried out for a week. Practice makes perfect, after all!
- Invest in a retractable leash:
Although you may find that retractable leashes aren’t at all practical when out walking, they’re an essential part of this training process. Walking around with a retractable leash on grants your dog the autonomy to explore the areas with tone warnings, although ensure that you pull back the leash to prevent them from getting shocked. As your dog becomes accustomed to this, extend the leash a little further so they can venture beyond the fence’s border. When they respond to the warning beep, call them over to give them treats. Ignoring your calls and venturing into the electric shock zone will demonstrate to your dog that the former choice was the most preferable one.
- Remove the invisible markers over time:
After around a week of treat reinforcement, your dog should’ve memorized the contours of the invisible zone. Slowly but surely, remove the concrete objects as they learn.
Spruce Up the Edge of Your Fence with Planters
Shrubs are a lovely way to brighten up any garden, so the fact that planting them around a fence to keep dogs in constitutes the perfect excuse to spend the time and effort gardening. Adding landscaping will discourage dogs from jumping due to the fear that they may fail and hurt themselves by falling into the shrubs below. This option certainly looks much better aesthetically than investing in a chain link fence and much less expensive than a privacy fence.
Make Your Back Yard Your Dog’s Haven
Although articles concerning how to dog proof a fence mostly include physical changes to the concrete fence or garden itself, they should also be questioning why dogs feel the need to leave their gardens in the first place. Many dogs will seek out fresh water and food if there isn’t enough and likewise hunt for a shaded spot to sit.
That’s why making your dog’s back garden suitable for them is the perfect way to keep them in. Ensure you create a shaded spot for them to escape the sun and regularly rotate their indoor and outdoor toys. Most importantly, make sure that you’re often there to keep your dog company – after all, they’ll be much happier outdoors with their favorite person beside them!
- Jan Reisen, How to Help Prevent Your Dog From Escaping the Yard – American Kennel Club
- Sherry Woodard, Dog-Proof Fence Ideas and Options – Best Friends Animal Society
- How To Keep Your Dog From Escaping – The Humane Society of the United States